Microsoft announced that it's closing down the Xbox 360's Indie Games program to help steer developers towards the ID@Xbox program.

According to Gamasutra, Microsoft sent an email to most of the small-time developmers registered for the Xbox 360's Xbox Live Indie Games program, letting them know that it will be shutdown by the end of 2017. The Xbox Live Indie Games initiative was introduced 9 years ago in the form of the Xbox 360's XNA Game Studio Express. It wasn't until 2008 when Microsoft announced that the Xbox Live Community Games would be for sale on the marketplace. After the release of XNA Game Studio Express 3.1, the program was re-titled Xbox Live Indie Games.

There were certain restrictions that would classify a title as an Xbox Live Indie Game instead of an Xbox Live Arcade title. The game had to be less than 500 MB and priced at $2.50, $5 or $10 (the restrictions used to be lower). These titles lacked achievements and leaderboards, and developers had a maximum limit of 20 games that could be released on this program.

As of today, studios and developers can no longer pay for a subscription to the Xbox Live Indie Games service. Starting on Sept. 9, 2016, the program will stop accepting any new titles, and in Sept. 2017 the Indie Games marketplace will be shut down. The XNA website will be closing completely in Dec. 2017.

Xbox is encouraging its indie associates to develop games for the Xbox One via the ID@Xbox initiative in place of the Indies Game program.

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